President emphasizes meeting people's basic needs during his Chongqing visit
President Xi Jinping urged all-out efforts to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty in China within two years in his three-day inspection tour of Chongqing, which ended on Wednesday.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, presided over a meeting on Tuesday on guaranteeing the people's basic needs in food and clothing as well as access to education, medical care and safe housing.
Xi said food and clothing have been mostly guaranteed, while there remain some difficulties in access to education, medical care and safe housing.
Adding that poverty reduction work has entered a decisive stage, Xi instructed all departments to focus on the prominent problems of poverty alleviation and to make more contributions to building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
According to China's plan, all of the country's rural impoverished people will be lifted out of poverty by 2020.
While talking with students and teachers on Monday at a primary school in Zhongyi, a township in the Shizhu Tujia autonomous county, Xi said compulsory education is an important part of poverty reduction.
Children in impoverished mountainous regions must be guaranteed access to education, and they should have a happy childhood, Xi said. He encouraged teachers to settle down in such regions, dedicate themselves to education in rural areas and contribute to poverty reduction.
At the home of poverty-stricken villager Tan Dengzhou, Xi asked about the life and health conditions of Tan and his wife, both of whom have had difficulties making a living due to injury and chronic diseases.
Xi said local authorities must pay great attention to people who are still poor and those who become poor due to illness. Authorities should improve measures on pensions, healthcare and medical alleviation to ensure people can escape poverty, Xi said.
Upon learning that Party member Ma Peiqing had helped villagers earn money through planting traditional Chinese medicinal herbs, Xi said he was relieved to see the people lead a better life.
Xi told villagers that poverty reduction is his biggest concern and that his tour is to learn about remaining problems in poverty reduction.
Rural people should not be left behind while pursuing a moderately prosperous society in all respects, Xi said. The poor people's basic needs must be guaranteed along with the country's development, he said at Tuesday's meeting, adding that the poverty alleviation measures must reach every single person.
After getting out of poverty, rural people should still receive a lot of attention from the local government to make sure they stay out of poverty, Xi said, which he called important work.
Poverty reduction measures, such as building industries and offering training, should be used to ensure that people in impoverished areas have jobs, he said.
Party committee secretaries and heads in poverty-stricken counties should remain steadfast in their posts to guarantee that poverty alleviation policies are stable and sustainable, Xi said.
Xi said that officials should practice clean governance and those found to cheat in poverty reduction work should be held accountable.
On Wednesday morning, Xi was briefed by the Party committee and municipal government of Chongqing. He encouraged local authorities to play a model role in jointly building the Belt and Road and promoting the green development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.
The CPC Central Committee's decision to develop the western region is very significant, Xi said. He added that Chongqing should give manufacturing a more prominent place and take a leading role in boosting opening-up in the country's western areas.
Xi also highlighted the importance of the Party's political building, saying strong measures to fight corruption must be maintained.